Thursday, March 30, 2023

Dubai, Where Architecture, Labor and Copyright Collide

Mexican architect, Fernando Donis, has filed a lawsuit against the Dubai municipality alleging copyright infringement of his architectural designs, which he created for a competition in 2008.

Interestingly, this NY Times article also highlights the interrelationship between and exploitation of labor, property and intellectual property, particularly within regions where law seems to be applied arbitrarily at the ruler’s whims. Notice also how entities attempt to lure artists in with promises that artists will keep their intellectual property, only to have that promise erased by new contractual terms where the artist, already blessed with a winning entry, is pressured into transferring the same intellectual property.

As some may recall, protection of architectural structures and buildings under U.S. Copyright law is a fairly recent phenomenon, if you consider 1990 recent. I wrote about this in Perspecta, the Yale Architectural Journal, just last year.

More on the lawsuit here, via the NY Times.


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